Karen Kadish  //  10/9/18  //  Daily Update


Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday, in a remarkably close vote in the Senate. President Trump says that he does not plan to remove Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, saying “I actually have a good relationship other than there’s been no collusion.” A Trump campaign official sought information on how to create fake social-media profiles and use social-media manipulation to help win the 2016 presidential election. Changes on the DOJ website show a shift towards a punitive approach toward juveniles. New DOJ indictments against Russian officials show the connection between international sports and the Russian government’s strategic objectives in asserting national power.

 

SUPREME COURT APPOINTMENT OF BRETT KAVANAUGH

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday, in a remarkably close vote in the Senate (WSJ; NYT; WaPo; LA Times).

  • The Kavanaugh hearings and ultimately his confirmation taint notions of judicial independence and the Supreme Court’s non-partisan reputation, write Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Huq at Take Care Blog.
  • There is a more general concern that the appointment of Judge Kavanaugh will impact the perceived legitimacy of the Supreme Court, especially because of the massive protests against Kavanaugh’s appointment (NYT; WSJ; WaPo).
  • Some of the partisan politics regarding Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination was directed at the FBI investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct that were levied against Mr. Kavanaugh (WaPo).
  • Many members of the legal community, including over 2,400 law professors, have spoken out against Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment (NYT; Balkinization).
  • Democrats are now considering what political moves they can take in response to Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation (Slate; NBC; NYT).
  • Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment and the allegations from his past are part of a larger story of power, influence, and the political capital needed to attain a Supreme Court position, write Marc Fisher, Ann E. Marimow, and Michael Kranish at The Washington Post.

 

TRUMP: INVESTIGATION AND LITIGATION

President Trump says that he does not plan to remove Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, saying “I actually have a good relationship other than there’s been no collusion.” (NYT).

 

IMMIGRATION

A district court issued an injunction stopping the Trump Administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan (Immigration Prof Blog).

 

CIVIL RIGHTS

Changes on the DOJ website show a shift towards a punitive approach toward juveniles, writes Jon Campbell at Sunlight Foundation.

 

DEMOCRACY 

A Trump campaign official sought information on how to create fake social-media profiles and use social-media manipulation to help win the 2016 presidential election, report Mark Mazzetti, Ronen Bergman, David D. Kirkpatrick, and Maggie Haberman at The New York Times.

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY

New DOJ indictments against Russian officials show the connection between international sports and the Russian government’s strategic objectives in asserting national power, writes Megan Reiss at Lawfare.

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence gave a 40-minute speech criticizing China for a host of political, economic, and human-rights infractions. This speech is indicative of the tension between the Trump administration and the Chinese government (WSJ). 

There was also a public confrontation between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, with Foreign Minister Wang accusing the United States of escalating trade friction and unjustifiably criticizing Chinese policies (WSJ).

South Korean foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha spoke about South Korea’s perspective on North Korean negotiations, the role of the United States in North Korean denuclearization, and South Korea’s hopes with regards to the relationship between North and South Korea (WaPo).

 


Daily Update | December 18, 2018

12/18/18  //  Daily Update

Two business associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn were indicted for conspiring to serve as unregistered foreign agents of Turkey and lying to federal investigators. Congressional Republicans continue to attempt to convince President Trump not to shut down the government if there is no funding allocated for a border wall. Democrats in Michigan have turned to Governor Rick Snyder in hopes of blocking Republican legislation that would strip significant authority from the Democratic Secretary of State and Attorney General. An official statement from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sharply criticized the United States Senate for claiming that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was at least partially responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi. The Senate Intelligence Committee released two reports on Russian social media activity during the 2016 election. Russian disinformation teams targeted special counsel Robert Mueller with claims that he was corrupt and had ties to extremist groups.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 17, 2018

12/17/18  //  Daily Update

A federal district judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act after the Trump administration declined to defend the law. Nearly every organization that President Trump has led in the past decade is under criminal investigation. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned after allegations of financial misconduct. Two years after its publication, many of the claims in the Steele dossier have been confirmed by other investigations. Kim Jong-un publicly warned that increased sanctions from the United States could end any chance of North Korean denuclearization. The Trump administration has aggressively sought to expedite high-profile cases to the Supreme Court in the hopes of securing victories from its conservative majority. A new report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee reveals that Russian government support for President Trump on social media was more widespread than previously known.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | December 14, 2018

12/14/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump claimed he “never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” and publicly criticized his former attorney following Cohen’s sentence to three years in jail. A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after being taken into Border Patrol custody a week ago according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The United States Senate voted 56 to 41 to withdraw American military assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen, going against President Trump’s defense of the nation following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed two requests at the Supreme Court asking it to stay injunctions from three lower courts on the Trump administration’s ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military. National security advisor John Bolton outlined a new strategy for the The Trump administration in Africa aimed primarily at opposing China. Maria Butina pled guilty to conspiracy to act as a foreign agent, and agreed to cooperate with with federal prosecutors going forward.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School